June 14: President Peres

Despite his shortcomings, Shimon Peres is undoubtedly the best-qualified individual to be president.

letters good 88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
letters good 88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
President Peres Sir, - Well, the loser is no longer a loser! Despite his shortcomings, Shimon Peres is undoubtedly the best-qualified individual in Israel to fill the position of president. His over 60 years' record of service to Israel is unprecedented in the annals of the state, and he is certainly fit for the job. Now let's hope there are no hidden secrets in his past ("Shimon Peres elected 9th president," On-Line Edition, June 13). LEONARD ZURAKOV Netanya Sir, - With the election of Shimon Peres, has Israel announced to the world that it wants to be a European country, waxing poetic about politics, sipping espresso and complaining about the weather? Unfortunately, it's a luxury Israel can't afford. ABE KRIEGER Philadelphia Just a chance Sir, - Here is what Israel needs to help us get out of the mess we're in! ("It's all in the plans," Haviv Rettig's interview with Uriel Reichman, June 12.) But will all the hangers-on give such clear-sightedness and the people in Reichman's team the chance Israel so desperately needs? The state of the average Israeli child's Jewish identity is frightening, and all too often parents and teachers are not only unable to help, but add to the confusion. GLORIA MOUND Gan Yavne Hamastan ahead Sir, - The tragedy being played out in Gaza is final proof that there is no compatibility whatsoever between the Arab population of Judea and Samaria and the population of Gaza. This has been known for generations. The painful truth is that only a partition between the two areas will help to bring some calm. Like in other nations that have carried out partition it will probably be necessary to enable citizens at risk to transfer to the territory of their choice. How the international community will "contain" the new Hamastan is the big question. The big advantage for Israel will be that the PA of Judea and Samaria will be the only authority with which we will have to deal ("The 'two-state solution' comes to fruition - Hamas's Gaza and Fatah's West Bank," Khaled Abu Toameh, June 13). DAVID GOSHEN Kiryat Ono Makes you wonder Sir, - Who is this "American Orthodox Jew" who is funding a campaign against the demolition of Palestinian and Beduin homes in Israel and the territories and rebuilding the homes? One wonders whether he is also willing to fund the rebuilding of Jewish homes destroyed by Kassams and Katyushas fired by Hamas and Hizbullah from Gaza and Lebanon ("American Jews finances campaign against demolition of Palestinian homes," June 12) MILTON H. POLIN Jerusalem Help us to help you Sir, - UK Jewry has been accused of failing Israel (Letters, June 4). Yes, we have failed so far to stop the growing number of boycotts, and to stem the media stories about events past and present that stray further and further from the truth. But you could do a lot to help us. There are more foreign journalists in Israel than almost anywhere else. Could you not do more to show them the devastating effects of the rocket attacks on Israeli citizens, or the suffering of the Christians in the West Bank at the hands of Hamas and other terror organizations? Could you not try to delegitimize those organizations and individuals that spread untruths about Israel in the name of revisionist history and ideology? Much of the coverage of the Six Day War and its aftermath has included copious quotations from and interviews with Israelis who do not appear to know their own history. Could you not campaign for Israeli citizens to become more acquainted with it, for example: Jordan's 19-year, illegal annexation of the West Bank and Jerusalem; Khartoum's Three Noes; Jerusalem's Jewish majority for over 170 years; that UN Resolution 242 does not require Israel to withdraw to the cease-fire lines of 1948; and that Hamas is reiterating what the Arabs have always said - that they do not want to negotiate peace but to destroy Israel? We here and you there could work together and help each other to eliminate the lies and restore Israel's reputation and legitimacy. NAOMI BENARI London British betrayal Sir, - From Our Archives (May 31) contained the following extract, dated May 31, 1942: "In London, the British Labor Party conference promised Jews immigration and the settlement of the National Home in Palestine after the war." How Ernie Bevin - whether in heaven or a deservedly warmer place - must be grinning at the successful mendacity of the Labour Party and its postwar betrayal of wartime pledges. After all, most British Jews did give their votes to Labour in the first postwar election; and how most of us regretted that folly. HAROLD LEWIN Jerusalem 'Anything goes' Sir, - The following was inspired by David Horovitz's "24 hours in London" (June 8), to be sung to the tune of "Anything goes" (with apologies to Cole Porter): I'm sure they feel such great elation / To know that their constant fabrication curls no one's toes - / Anything goes! And if they must persist that we're to blame / for all of the kills that they're to blame, well, it shows / Anything goes! The world has gone mad today, / and good's bad today, and where's right today / when black's white today, and those guys today / that people prize today / are just potential foes. So though I'm not a politician / I know that this constant repetition of lies they pose / shows - Anything goes! EDMUND JONAH Rishon Lezion Same old story Sir, - Congratulations! The prime minister and acting minister of finance has cheapened cosmetics and some electrical appliances ("More tax cuts," Editorial, June 13). Savings which oldsters shaved off their highly-taxed earnings while they were still working were recently taxed a second time in order to save Israel's economy from collapse. It worked, it hurt, but what don't you do for your country? Now that the country is saved and tax collection has eased, doesn't anyone think what might be preferable: releasing pensioners from their double load of taxation, or counting the votes expected in the next election? MAX FRIEDLANDER Jerusalem Stinky logic Sir, - Erin Aubry Kaplan's op-ed about perfume ads was right on the mark ("Smells like mean spirit," June 13). She was correct in identifying certain ads as directed to specific ethnic groups. This is not a new phenomenon. However, Ms. Kaplan was off the mark in: "Is it a coincidence that white-male belligerence dominates world affairs?" The news is not "white-male belligerence." If Ms. Kaplan was paying attention, she might have noticed that much of the belligerence that "dominates world affairs" is in the Middle East - in Iran, Iraq, the Gaza Strip - and almost none of the people involved are "white." The belligerence in Africa, in Sudan and other venues, is by non-whites. It seems this columnist got carried away by her ethnic soliloquy. AHARON GOLDBERG Hatzor Haglilit